Interior boosts offshore penalties, wants Congress to mandate larger increase

“The inadequacy of our civil authority hampers our ability to effectively regulate offshore activities, and renders such fines a trivial nuisance rather than an effective deterrent,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

“Our hope is that new legislation will raise this amount significantly, which would enable us to use the threat and reality of civil fines as viable methods to encourage compliance with offshore oil and gas rules and regulations and meaningfully deter violations,” he added.

The offshore regulators are also boosting the maximum daily penalties for violating financial responsibility requirements under the Oil Pollution Act, which address parties’ ability to meet their liabilities in the event of an accident.

The penalties will rise from $25,000 to $35,000.